Friday, November 09, 2007

A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven

Hello friends,
Do you ever feel weary from the struggles of life?  I'm especially speaking of the struggles where someone else is involved; someone who doesn't care; someone who is supposed to care, then shows by actions, that they just don't care.  Do you ever feel as though righteousness, in society, no longer has meaning?  I'm having one of those weeks.
Years ago, when I worked for the U.S. Department of Defense, taking care of service members, I found myself working along side of people who simply didn't care.  It always made me angry.  In the military, taking care of service members' pay records and service records is probably the most important job one could have.  If a pay record was lost, it could mean their children would suffer.  If a service record was lost, then there was no record of their rank, where they were stationed, and so, their ability to go up in pay-grades was impaired, which in turn made their families suffer.
All these worries that I had for people I didn't know was one of the reasons that I was good at my job.  Making certain that their families would be able to be taken care of.  Time after time someone would come up with a lost record.  Someone else, who didn't care, would say, "oh, I looked."
"Well, did you look under their last name or first name?"
"I looked, I tell you, I looked!  It's not there!"
Nine times out to ten, I would find the record.  I'd find a pay record in with the service records; or I would find a record "filed" under their middle name, their first name, or (in the case of a female service member) under their maiden name.  It made me so angry to know that so-and-so, obviously didn't care if they found the record at all.  This week, I've been on the receiving end.  You see, in the U.S. Military, after you've retired, you are still attached to the Department of Defense.  So, aside from my doctor; aside from my pharmacist; aside from my sweet husband, who is calling people to task, right now; aside from my children; and aside from God, nobody cares.  You can see it in the neglect of our young wounded, whose lives have been ripped asunder by war.  Perhaps I am saying too much.  I try not to address my country's government.  There is just too much to say that would be negative.  And, please, don't tell me how tender hearted someone is by that photo-op tear running down his cheek.  That's not what the Bible tells us.
The Bible tells us that by our fruits (results) we are known.  It tells us that love, honor, and kindness are everything.  It teaches us to care, and frankly, caring and doing something about it are a rare treasure these days.
So, this little tirade, I apologize for.  I just want you to know, that I understand your sorrows.  I may not know what they are, but I care...really care.  I also wanted to share that this world gets heavy for me, too.  And even though I know God loves me, and the evidence in my life is unmistakable, I sometimes get angry with God, because He doesn't immediately fix it.  I do harangue Him sometimes; and later I wonder why He bothers to put up with me.
Then, I'll just sit and look at the birds that come to my yard.  I'll think about how important their well-being is to me.  We keep their bird baths full.  We keep seed and fruit and suet available, and I care about them with all my heart.  A few days ago, all the bird baths were full; yet we found two wild sitting on a bird bath pecking like crazy at the ice, and one underneath scratching at the ground.
How in the world is this story relevant?  Well, I wasn't expecting the water to freeze.  Sometimes it has gotten so cold that seed has frozen to the ground.  The birds don't know that there is a reason.  They only know they have no drink and they have no feed.  While I am certain that God knows exactly who and what is responsible for our troubles; He doesn't interfere with human free will.  And we humans expect Him to, when we need Him to smite someone.  But not a single one of us would be willing to give up our own free will, so that the dirty so-and-so will get what's coming to him.
It's hard sometimes to keep my perspective.  I want satisfaction, and I want it now!  But in my heart, and in my life, I see the love God has for me.  I see His hand of favor upon my children, no matter their adversities.  I see how much He loves my husband, and I see how they all bless my life.  If that's not evidence of God in my life, then I don't know anything.  I know He loves me, and I know there is one who hates good, and only loves evil, and he never rests.
However, as I write this, I think of all the storms in my life, that God has brought me through, and I must acknowledge that and be grateful.

The Eye of the Storm


Keep me, oh Lord, in the eye of the storm,

Where my heart can beat without fear.

In the silence so deep;

In the warmth of Your love;

I know that Your presence is near.


For though it is dark, and the silence so still,

Your Light still illumines the place.

You are with me, oh Lord;

You surround me with hope;

In the dark I can still see Your face.


© Jaye Lewis, 1999

(Verse one and two of The Eye of the Storm)


With love,


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